Saturday, December 11, 2010

My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox: Episode 3

My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox > Episode 3 [Watch it]
Dae-woong rushes to assure Hye-in that Mi-ho isn’t his girlfriend, but she doesn't look too pleased at his clumsy insistence, either. Hye-in leaves and Dae-woong chases her trying to explain with enough half-truths to mollify her: He went to the countryside for a few days and Mi-ho accommodated him in her home. Mi-ho had followed him back to Seoul to escape her strict grandmother, which he didn’t realize till she was already here. He feels sorry for her because she knows nobody here, and she did help him out while he was in the countryside. Hye-in sighs that Mi-ho took advantage of his soft-heartedness.

Meanwhile, Byung-soo clucks in disapproval at Dae-woong’s disgraceful treatment of Mi-ho (his girlfriend) in front of his noona. Mi-ho, being from a previous era, doesn’t immediately grasp the meaning of “girlfriend”, but she guesses that the word signifies “the one you want for a mate”, and that Dae-woong’s reaction means “he has no intention of taking me as his mate.”
Dae-woong is happily escorting Hye-in to lunch when Mi-ho approaches. Hye-in’s easy attitude soon becomes pettish in the presence of a rival. Dae-woong hurries over to Mi-ho to tell her to stay away for a while, while while he goes out to lunch. But she gets straight to the point: “Do you like her? Are you going to mate with her?” He protests and asks if she’s jealous. Touching his chest, Mi-ho tells him he can’t carry her fox bead and “share his ki [energy]” with another woman, “because that hurts my fox bead.”

He asks for a definition of “sharing ki” and gets back the answer: “to mate.” She won’t allow him to go off with Hye-in, especially since she can see that he was ready to not only share his ki but practically give her his entire soul. Mi-ho decides she’d better go with him, or he’ll have to give back her bead. Not really much of a choice, is it? She simplifies the choice: “If you go, you die.”

While the two are having their discussion, Hye-in, tired of waiting, drives off, ignoring Dae-woong who chases after her car. He tries to look for the silver lining in being ditched: it would have been more embarrassing to tell Hye-in he couldn’t go with her, so it’s better that Hye-in left him behind first. Mi-ho perks up at this admission that he wasn’t going to follow her.

He barks at her in annoyance, but Mi-ho replies in a hurt voice that she’s just trying to save him, emphasizing: “I want to save you from dying, so I’m giving you my really precious fox bead.”

Upon hearing that, he feels a stab of remorse and exasperatedly says that he’s upset because his pride has taken a hit. Soon, Mi-ho’s hungry again, but decides not to tell him as she thinks that asking Dae-woong for more meat will just make him more angry with her.

On the bus, Dae-woong sits as far from Mi-ho has possible, casting sidelong glances as she literally salivates over an ad for a meat restaurant. She looks at him pathetically, but he pretends not to see and texts Hye-in an apology message.

Mi-ho watches the a mother-daughter pair seated in front of her: the mother tells her cute daughter that she just wants to “eat her up.” Upon hearing that, Mi-ho wonders why a woman would want to eat her own child. When the girl looks over at her, Mi-ho jokes that she might eat the girl herself. Dae-woong, having seen Mi-ho raise the girl’s hand to her mouth as though to take a bite, panics and drags her off the bus.

Mi-ho insists that she was just copying the mother’s behavior, reminding him that she doesn’t eat people. Realizing that he over-reacted, and feeling abashed, he soon thinks otherwise when she tells him, “If I were hungry, would I eat a little dog? I’d eat something bigger like you.”

As a result of dragging Mi-ho out the bus in a panic, he left his cell phone on the bus. In a desperate attempt to get in touch with his phone, he asks strangers to borrow their phone, hoping that a stranger will pick up. While he’s busy pleading with them, Mi-ho takes off running after the bus. When he successfully connects to his phone, he gets Mi-ho on the line. Due to her her superhuman speed and hearing, she managed to track down the bus, and brings him his phone.

Dae-woong notices that she’s out of breath, and is a little surprised that a gumiho would experience the same physical reactions as a human. She then explains that since he has her bead, she feels the physical exertion more than normally. It’s not until this very moment that he understands that he bead is very important to her.

Mi-ho gathers him up in a hug and tells him to pay attention, and he’s able to feel the beads pull. He finally understands that she’s a different being — even the passing of time felt different. Mi-ho reiterates that he has the most precious part of her inside him, requesting that he treats it carefully and make sure it isn’t injured. He promises.

That evening, unable to accept his friends’ invitations to party, Dae-woong is stuck at home lamenting that while Mi-ho is with him, he can't do anything.

He sneaks out quietly to talk with Hye-in outside when she drops by while Mi-ho is napping. With a perceived rival now on the scene, Hye-in asks him to declare his feelings for her, giving him encouragement — holding his hand and embracing him — to pressure him into making his declaration.

Dae-woong is tempted and leans in for a kiss… until he imagines Mi-ho sternly reminding him he isn’t free to do anything of the kind. In his horror-fantasy, Mi-ho growls, “I told you not to mate!”... And he wakes up from this nightmare.

Mi-ho soon starts to understand the whole money = meat situation. The chicken restaurant near their place has a promotional deal: 10 proofs of purchase can be exchanged for a free meal. She currently has 8, so she heads off to a streetside trash can to find more.

On her way, she darts in front of a car, which bumps her. It’s Doo-hong, who calls out after her to see if she’s okay. Unconcerned with his calls to her, she finds a coupon in the trash, but it gets sent flying in the air when a gust of wind comes, so she leaps up among the treetops to retrieve it.

Doo-hong can’t believe his eyes when he sees Mi-ho leap in the air among the branches to grab the coupon. He has found the “real action” heroine he has been searching for!

It is audition day for Dae-woong and he asks Mi-ho for her opinion on shirts. She chooses the brown one exclaiming that it is the color of cows. Dryly, he holds up his other shirts in turn, asking, “So is this pig color [pink], and this one chicken [yellow]?”

Mi-ho agrees, and goes one step further to rate them in order of preference: first place is cow, second is pig, third is chicken. She urges him to choose the cow color, to which he retorts that he’ll wear “grass color” so as not to appeal to her appetite.

As Dae-woong leaves for his audition, Grandpa arrives and overhears his conversation with Mi-ho. His words (that he’d better do well in order to keep her in beef) have a different ring to Grandpa’s ears, particularly when Dae-woong declares that this is all “to support you.”

At first Grandpa is dismayed, but he recalls scenes from Dae-woong’s spoiled youth: his younger version announced that since Grandpa’s so rich, he has no need to find a way to support himself. Or when he ditched school, saying he could just set up his own billiard hall with Grandpa’s money. Or when college-aged Dae-woong asked Grandpa to set up his own management company, so he could become a star, declaring, “I don’t like difficult things. I want to hit it big!”

So in that context, Dae-woong working hard to put food on the table for his girlfriend isn’t SO horrible. In fact, Grandpa’s rather pleased at this transformation.

Doo-hong’s assistant prepares him for the day’s auditions and points out the leading choice for female lead, but he’s distracted by thoughts of his mysterious real action heroine from the night before.

Hye-in is auditioning for a supporting character with a lot of action scenes, but she overhears the assistant saying that the director wants to cast a rookie for the lead — something about long hair and a white dress.

On the way to the audition, Dae-woong notices that Mi-ho looks distressed. She explains that they’re passing over the river, which is upsetting since large bodies of water are her weakness. He can’t do anything about it, so he hugs and puts her hand on his chest — to put her closer to her fox bead.

She smiles as she rests her head on his chest, then wonders, aloud “Woong, what’s a couple?” He asks why, and she says, “People are calling us a couple” — her sensitive hearing has picked up on the comments of the other bus passengers. Dae-woong balks and pushes her away, so she decides, “It must not be a good thing.”

He fumbles for an excuse to keep her at arm’s length, saying it sure is hot, oh ho, she’d better stand away from him. Wouldn’t it be great if it rained and cooled the heat?

Mi-ho answers that for rain to come on such a clear day, she’d have to cry. Dae-woong asks in surprise if Mi-ho cries, and she answers yes: “When it rains on a clear day, it’s because I’m sad.” She pouts that she’s about to cry… because she’s so hungry. Dae-woong is in an amenable mood, and suggests they stop by for lunch on the way, bringing a smile to her face.

How does Dae-woong propose to feed her? Supermarket samples! Since she’s not human, he tells her she doesn’t have to worry about being judged for eating more than one sample, and urges her to eat as much as she wants. Eagerly, Mi-ho makes her way down the aisle, chanting, “Cow! Cow! Cow!”

Dong-joo is also in the store, watching Mi-ho. With a smile, he thinks, “You must be enjoying human life, Ms. Gumiho.” And although he didn’t say it aloud, Mi-ho hears his comment and looks around for the source of the voice. He continues, “You’ve been locked up for a long while — the world has changed a lot, hasn’t it?” He tells her not to worry, as he isn’t intending to hurt her right now… although that suggests he does intend to at a later date.

He challenges her to try finding him, curious to know if she’ll be able to pin him down in the crowd. Following her senses, Mi-ho wanders up to the department store level, where she meets eyes with Dong-joo. The sight conjures up a long-buried memory of her past incarnation, and she makes her way toward him.

Mi-ho can feel their connection but doesn’t recognize who he is, and asks if he was the one who called her. He confirms it. She touches a hand to his face, then decides, “You’re not human, either.”

In turn, he raises a hand to her face and says, “And you’re not the girl I knew, either.” He explains that there was another supernatural being who looked like her, and she asks if that makes him one, too.

Mi-ho supposes that even so, she’s probably stronger than he is, but he contradicts her — while she’s missing her bead, he’s stronger than her. In fact, she has been weakened so much that she can’t recognize his true nature, and if he tried to capture her, she wouldn’t be able to resist.

Mi-ho displays her childlike faith in Dae-woong, assuring Dong-joo that her bead is nearby and safe. Shrewdly, Dong-joo asks if she really trusts Dae-woong not to run off or ditch her. He gives her one piece of advice — don’t trust humans. As he leaves, he promises he’ll come find her later.

Dae-woong is heading up to the cosmetics counter to primp while Mi-ho eats her fill, On his way there he runs into Hye-in. She has changed into a white dress and got hair extensions in hopes of fitting the director’s idea of a female lead. She greets him enthusiastically.

Remembering Mi-ho’s warnings, Dae-woong tries to disentangle his arm from Hye-in’s naturally, but she notices. When she suggests that they head to the audition together, he hastily makes up an excuse for her to go without him. She doesn’t understand why he’s playing hard to get, but she gets upset at his reaction.

Shortly, Dae-woong returns to the meat counter to retrieve Mi-ho, she’s upstairs in the clothing department. There, Hye-in sees her and guesses that Dae-woong had pushed her aside because of Mi-ho.

Hye-in approaches Mi-ho and offers patronizing comments about Dae-woong leaving without her. Mi-ho can sense otherwise and is confident that he’s nearby, looking for her, and cheerily contradicts her. Hye-in counters, “He stood you up. Are you saying I’m lying to you?” Mi-ho doesn’t register her snideness and replies simply, “Yes. There he is!” and points to Dae-woong off in the distance. Mi-ho adds without an ounce of irony, “You must be a liar!”

That riles Hye-in’s temper, and she takes a menacing step toward Mi-ho, who sidesteps her easily. This misstep sends Hye-in sprawling to the ground, coffee spilling all over her white dress. Dae-woong comes rushing to her side, and Hye-in blames it all on Mi-ho. She plays it up, acting the aggrieved party, saying this dress was specifically needed for her audition concept.

Dae-woong jumps to set things to rights, urging Hye-in to go ahead to her audition. He’ll find a replacement dress, then bring it with him. He even calls aunt Min-sook for an emergency transfer of funds.

After buying the dress, he races to the audition building, where Doo-hong presides over matters, displeased with the applicants. Hye-in had actually already decided against the white dress, having heard that the director had a specific girl in mind, and auditions for the part. By the time Dae-woong gets to the building, however, everything has ended. Worse than failing to come through for Hye-in, he missed his own chance at the audition.

Over the phone, he hears that Hye-in made her audition, and tries to say that it’s okay hat he missed his, although he clearly feels horribly disappointed. In all this excitement, he hasn’t even thought about Mi-ho, but thanks to her gumiho senses, she tracks him down to the lobby where he sits in dejection.

She doesn’t understand that he blames her for all this, starting with the meat and the spilled coffee — Hye-in had made it seem like Mi-ho pushed her and ruined her dress on purpose, and Mi-ho hadn’t protested. With grim determination, he leads her away and arrives at a tourist ferry docked at the Han River.

She doesn’t like it, feeling uneasy to be surrounded by so much water, and pleads to go somewhere else. But Dae-woong tells her firmly that this is where he wants to eat dinner. He leaves to go on a bathroom break, while Mi-ho anxiously stands alone, trying to play down her fears. When the food is set out, she helps herself to the dinner spread.

Being surrounded by water dulls her gumiho senses, leaving her feeling defenseless, but she doesn’t want to protest because Dae-woong is in such a bad mood, so she meekly waits. Hence, she can’t sense Dae-woong exiting the boat. She only notices when she looks out to the pier and sees Dae-woong speeding away from her.

Starting to panic, she cries out after him but he doesn't stop. Dae-woong doesn’t feel proud of himself, but he tells himself firmly that he doesn’t care what happens to her, that she’s the reason nothing’s working out for him.

On the boat, Mi-ho huddles off to the side, shivering. She realizes, “He abandoned me and left. And after he promised.”
Tears start to fall from her eyes, just as the clear skies suddenly cloud over and rain starts to fall. The rainfall stops Dae-woong in his tracks, realizing what this means: “Mi-ho is crying.”.... 


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